We’ve all gone through a bout of inferiority complex whenever a fellow (and extra jolly) author says, “Oh this vacation I’m TOTALLY gonna write! Like, you know, NaNoWriMo 2.0?”
We don’t care if they’re saying the truth, or if they will neglect all the formalities of the festive season or maybe even some upcoming exams. Our only concern is that… they will be writing while we’ll be stuck doing backbreaking chores.
But forget the guilt or jealousy or any other emotion we have, because this article is all about making a busy and leisurely month productive – without writing.
While also celebrating Christ’s birth, let’s also commemorate the birth of a world.
Now ‘world’ here might sound restricted to genres like Fantasy or Science Fiction, but I don’t mean that kind of world. I mean, the world every reader escapes into when they read a book. Be it the MC’s head or their life…or a fantasy.
So first up, what inspiration impregnates the idea into your head? Or vice versa?
I’m telling you, writing a book is disturbingly like childbirth. First the pleasure of ideas, the turmoil through the process, the labor of editing and creating an author base, and the FINAL BEAUTIFUL baby!
Ahem, onto the point. We are talking about the fun part of it. I’ll be talking about the various forms it comes in. Yes, the types of inspiration – and how a simple, small thing can turn into a great plot.
Internal Sources of inspiration
This ranges from ‘an interesting dream’ you had, to phobias. All of it, the hallucinations, imaginations, irrational fear, strong emotion about something, these come from inside of you and so, they are your internal inspirations — only if you take them that way.
1) The Fear Fire
You know the power of your phobias, and if you can feel it, you can very well write it. Challenge yourself to write about it in a way that the reader should be compelled to feel it. Sometimes the weird and desperate metaphors will strike it (the story), sometimes you will get a whole new character from it. Other times the fear might be a HUGE part of the novel.
The reason why I speak about it first is that my first book was inspired by fear (at the same time, fascination) … Of extraterrestrial possibility.
[Bonus: writing about your fears can result in you overcoming them. Pretty dauntless, right?]
2) Dream-Dead plot
Ever woke up and thought, ‘Whoa what was that?’
The best unimaginable content comes from our dreams because the neurons are behaving like four-year-old’s trying to party hard inside, playing with your memories, experiences, insecurities, literally everything. Sometimes the connections seem bizarre, there are adventures you didn’t think could even be possible. This right here is GOLD. Dreams are but a huge cluster of untapped ideas.
[Bonus: read about Lucid Dreaming and how to do it to control your dreams! Your retention of dreams and creativity will increase like anything!]
3) Déjà Vu—what?
Have I seen this before? Have I felt this way before, even though this is happening to me for the first time? Ugh! What was it!? Why does this place seem familiar?
These are the situations you can take advantage of. For me, if I look at a dry piece of land, with big rocks and mustard-green grass, there is an inexplicable emotion set off. I feel (irrationally) connected to that scenery even though it’s not very beautiful.
Start thinking about yours, think about what would have happened around that object, place, anything.
What story does that area hold?
You, create the answer.
Now these, are what you get from the outer world, and how you let it affect you and your writing.
1) Melody Might
I know! Very common! We all use it when we have writer’s block, or when we must focus, or to set the mood of a novel, or to daydream.
Here’s what you could also do and it’s fun — after all my second book was wholly inspired by Beating Heart by Ellie Goulding and Hymn for the Weekend + its prequel. So, I took the metaphors of the song and took it literally.
Like, these lyrics: Let me shoot across the sky’ was very funny since I imagined the singer inside bullets firing across the sky… but what if that actually happened?
Do you see where this is going? Songs can act like INSANE prompts with a variety of interpretations and imaginations. Amazing, right?
2) Real Life Situations
Boy, yes that high school drama? Yeah, how can it worsen? Crime makes it spicier, you know? Well, drugs and self-harm were just OBVIOUS to put in.
Hehe, just kidding.
Your life provides so many stories within itself, but they don’t generally connect the dots as novels do. Build something extra, something juicy around one such incident of your life that you consider to be interesting enough to grab attention, and then your task is to hold it — by characters, setting, or whatever that suits you, whatever your strength is. I don’t even think I have to say more about this.
3) Visual Variety
We all love writing in a certain genre and what else gives you more energy to write (or think) about it than looking at pictures that remind you of it? Like, some sceneries can give you that special ‘feel’ and you can even make your book have a scene or an entire setting in it. Isn’t it exciting to know that the reader will feel that unique vibe from your book, too? The idea of having an essence of the things that you are passionate about, or that gives you thrills, in your book might make you want to write or think about it.
4) Peculiar People
Every day, we (can) meet different people, and sometimes many can be like Johnny Depp’s role preferences. Though, every person has a story behind them and sometimes the reason they behave the way they do is because of that reason while we can only guess what that story is. Basic psychology. Sometimes it does click something in your head and it is a possibility that you might be nurturing a story within a few hours.
Article by zilahsina